Proceratium siamense

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Proceratium siamense
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Proceratiinae
Tribe: Proceratiini
Genus: Proceratium
Species: P. siamense
Binomial name
Proceratium siamense
De Andrade, 2003

Proceratium siamense P casent0902416.jpg

Proceratium siamense D casent0902416.jpg

Specimen Label

Nothing is known about the biology of Proceratium siamense.

Identification

A member of the silaceum clade, resembling Proceratium australe in general body shape. The two species Proceratium siamense and australe share the area between the basal and declivous faces of the propodeum with a variably marked transversal carina. Differing from australe, in the worker, by the thicker petiole and by the hairs of type 2 denser and longer. (Baroni Urbani and de Andrade 2003)

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Oriental Region: Thailand (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Very little is known about the biology of Proceratium ants. They nest in soil, rotten wood, under deep-set stones and, in a few cases, tree branches. For many species the nest consists of small rounded chambers hollowed out of soft rotten wood or in the soil. Toward the cooler limits of the range, particularly in North America, nests and foraging workers are found under deep set rocks instead of in rotten wood. The nest site is usually in forest shade, in old moist gardens, or similar habitats that are constantly moist. Some species of known to be egg predators of arthropods, especially of spiders.

Most Proceratium are relatively rare but this is not the full explanation for why they are not commonly collected. Colonies of most species are small. Based on anectdotal natural history information from a few species, it was once thought that most Proceratium would likely be found to have mature colonies that contain somewhere between 10 - 50 workers. Yet nests with more than 50, and in some cases up to 200, workers have been been reported. Besides small colonies, these ants also do not appear to forage in places where they are readily encountered.

Males and females are though to be produced in small numbers but we generally do not have enough data for colonies of any species to know what might be typical. Reproductive flights have been observered toward the end of the summer in some northern temperate areas. In these regions the nuptial flight occurs during the last half of August. Both sexes climb some distance from the nest entrance before taking flight. Workers too issue from the nest during the nuptial flight, as is often the case with otherwise cryptobiotic ants.

Castes

Nomenclature

The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • siamense. Proceratium siamense De Andrade, in Baroni Urbani & De Andrade, 2003b: 342, fig. 136 (w.) THAILAND.

Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.

Description

Worker

Head longer than broad and with the sides gently diverging posteriorly. Vertex in full face view slightly convex. Clypeus reduced and as long as the antennal sockets. Anterior border of the clypeus truncate. Frontal carinae not very far from each other, slightly covering the antennal insertions. Lateral expansions of the frontal carinae narrow, little raised, strongly diverging on the two anterior fourths, converging on the third fourth, subparallel and carinate only on the last fourth. Frontal area gently concave on the three anterior fourths and with a central longitudinal carina starting from the last fourth and prolonging posteriorly. Head anterolaterally with a thick, short, longitudinal carina. Genal carinae marked, each carina corresponding to the external border of a deep sulcus. Eyes visible as a dark dot below the integument, small and on the middle of the head sides. First funicular joint about as long as broad. Funicular joints 2-10 broader than long. Last funicular joint as long as the sum of joints 7-10. Scapes short of the vertexal margin and weakly thickening apically. Masticatory margin of the mandibles with 6-7 denticles before the pointed apical tooth. Palp formula 2,2.

Mesosoma in side view gently convex and about as long as the maximum head length (mandibles included). Pronotal and propodeal sutures absent. Basal face of the propodeum declivous posteriorly. Declivous face of the propodeum almost perpendicular to the basal face. Area between basal and declivous faces of the propodeum medially weakly concave, dorsally marginate and laterally denticulate. Sides of the declivous face of the propodeum weakly marginate. Propodeal spiracle round and above mid height in lateral view.

Petiole subrectangular and thick. Anterior border of the petiole straight and anterolaterally strongly carinate. Ventral process of the petiole very large, stout and triangular. Postpetiole in dorsal view with sides gently diverging posteriorly. Postpetiolar sternite anteromedially with a marked subtriangular projection, gently convex posteriorly in side view. Constriction between postpetiole and gaster impressed. Gastral tergite I about 2/5 longer than the postpetiole and convex on the curvature. Remaining gastral tergites and sternites curved ventrally.

Legs not very short. All tibiae with a pectinate spur. Spurs of fore legs without basal spine. Fore basitarsi longer than the mid ones. Hind basitarsi about 1/4 shorter than hind tibiae. Second tarsomere of hind legs shorter than pretarsus. Pretarsal claws simple. Arolia absent.

Sculpture. Head, mesosoma, petiole and postpetiole granulopunctate Sides of the head and pleurae with additional irregular rugosities. Gaster smooth and with minute piligerous punctures. Legs punctate.

Body covered by hairs of three main types: (1) short, dense, suberect or subdecumbent on the whole body, suberect and sparse on the funicular joints; (2) long, erect on the whole body, slightly shorter on the scapes, absent on the funiculi; (3) shorter than hair type (1), dense and decumbent on the funicular joints only. In addition the funicular joints bear whitish, thick, appressed, sparse hairs.

Colour. Light brown.

Measurements in mm and Indices: TL 3.20-3.26; HL 0.71-0.72; HW 0.64-0.65; EL 0.03-0.04; SL 0.49-0.50; WL 0.90; PeL 0.23-0.24; PeW 0.32-0.33; HFeL 0.52-0.53; HTiL 0.44-0.45; HBaL 0.33-0.34; LS4 0.38; LT4 0.75-0.77; CI 90.1-90.3; SI 69.0-69.4; IGR 0.49-0.51.

Type Material

Holotype worker labeled: "Thailand, Doi Inthanon, 7.XI.85, Lob1 & Burckhardt", in Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève; one paratype worker, same data as the holotype in The Natural History Museum.

Etymology

Siamense is a neologism indicating the provenance from Thailand.

References

  • Baroni Urbani, C., de Andrade, M.L. 2003. The ant genus Proceratium in the extant and fossil record (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali, Monografie, 36, 1–492. (page 342, fig. 136 worker described)